From the Mayor’s Desk
by Shawn Hawkins
I have been working with developers for approximately eight months in an effort to negotiate a partnership that would be advantageous to both the developers and the town.
My major goals are to increase the tax base, create jobs, and revitalize downtown and the communities in Plymouth.
The primary goal of the developers is obviously, return on investment. The developers’ interest, and the town’s major asset, is the downtown waterfront property.
After review of NC General Stature 160A-456, which grants the town the authority to “sell, exchange, or otherwise transfer real property, or any interest thereof, deemed to be in the public interest,” I requested a proposed description of the developer’s plans for downtown Plymouth and the anticipated increase in the tax base.
The developers presented the following proposal to the Town Manager, Town Council, and me in a closed session on Thursday evening.
The developer will offer a variety of tourism related amenities, such as museums, restaurants, shops, condo’s, and waterfront villas on Plymouth’s waterfront, thus creating a market for a revitalized downtown.
Other amenities under consideration are specifically designed to attract a significant number of the thousands of cars that annually pass by Plymouth on the way to the Outer Banks.
An immediate result of implementation of the proposed plan would be the creation of hundreds of jobs during development.
The anticipated investment is to be $60 to $100 million; and the anticipated increase in tax base would be $2 -$3 million per year.
The developers have also expressed a willingness to consider development of affordable housing.
My goal in the coming months will be to address the need for a community center, playgrounds and other amenities for residents in the town of Plymouth.
Based on the above proposal, the town council supported my recommendation to sign a binding letter of intent to transfer the property to the developers with a five to one vote. However, the final agreement is contingent upon a required public hearing, at which time a final development agreement will be approved by the Plymouth Town Council.